“We need to play a bit smarter” says Grix ahead of Newcastle game

Halifax Panthers head coach, Simon Grix, would like his side to make life easier for themselves as they prepare to host Newcastle Thunder at the Shay.

By Seb Sternik
Friday, 6th August 2021, 8:30 am
Simon Grix, Halifax RLFC coach
Simon Grix, Halifax RLFC coach

Grix was referencing his team’s latest 24-21 win over Bradford Bulls which was sealed courtesy of James Saltonstall’s late effort.

This was one of numerous close results this season and while Grix praised the mental strength of his side, he did admit there’s a lot of improvement left to be made.

He said: “There’s a big tick in the box of resilience and character. We’ve had that for a number of weeks running now. But my message to the boys is you can only go to the well so many times. You’re gonna turn up one day and it’s going to be empty.

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“We need to play a little bit smarter and probably not make the game quite as difficult for ourselves. Then you don’t need to dig quite as deep and you can use your brain a bit more.

“Overall, I’m really happy but there’s a lot of improvement left in us yet.”

Next up for the Panthers is a home clash with Newcastle Thunder – a side they beat 32-0 earlier this season.

Grix has a lot of admiration for the club saying: “They came up from League One and for every team that comes up I think the first goal is going to be to solidify their place in the Championship.

“They’ve done that, they’ve got some good players, quality amongst it, they’ve got a really good set up there. They’ve got a good young coach named Eamon O’Carroll who is in his first job, he’s learning on the run like me.

“We beat them quite convincingly last time but if you watch the game, the scoreboard told a bit of a different story to how tight the game actually was. They’ve been in decent form of late. They lost at the weekend against Whitehaven so they’ll come firing this week.”

Grix is also hoping to see another big turnout from the supporters saying: “It was a good crowd at the weekend against our rivals with a really good Bradford following as well.

“Hopefully they can come again and support the boys.”